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The Secret in Their Eyes 2009

The Secret in Their Eyes | El secreto de sus ojos

The Secret in Their Eyes-El secreto de sus ojos

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An unresolved crime. A story of love. An unwritten ending.

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About The Secret in Their Eyes 馃挰

Former Buenos Aires state court criminal investigator Benjam铆n Esp贸sito (popular Argentinean actor Ricardo Darin) is recently retired, but he is not at peace. A twenty-five year -year old case and lost opportunities still haunt his memories and his life. He decides to write a novel about the case, which altered the course of his life in the hopes of finding closure after years of uncertainty.

Alternating between past and present, THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES tells the story of a 1974 brutal rape-murder of a beautiful twenty-three-year-old woman and Esp贸sito's attempt to solve the case. In the course of the investigation Esp贸sito is struck by the victim’s husband, Ricardo Morales (Pablo Rago), a young bank employee whose singular love and devotion for his wife only puts into question Esp贸sito's own obsession with his newly appointed superior Irene Men茅ndez Hastings (Soledad Villamil), a beautiful and upper-class sophisticate with a law degree from Cornell.

Esp贸sito and his quirky partner Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella) - whom he must often rescue from drunken escapades - identify and track down their suspect, Isidoro G贸mez (Javier Godino), and with the help of Irene secure his confession. But just as the case seems to be over and Esp贸sito is on the verge of revealing his feelings for Irene, his life begins to unravel. In Esp贸sito's moral and zealous pursuit of his target, he makes enemies, and puts his life at risk just as Gomez is prematurely released from jail and becomes an agent of Argentina's repressive secret police. Fearing for his safety, Esp贸sito must quickly leave Buenos Aires, leaving Irene behind without being able to profess his love for her.

In the course of writing his novel, Esp贸sito re-enters the long-forgotten case and Irene's life, attempting to uncover the fate of the killer and the victim's husband. Only then, will he be able to complete his story and have a new chance at fulfilling his life.


Benjam铆n Esp贸sito (Ricardo Dar铆n) is a tired man. Not just -although partly - because he is over sixty and has just retired from his job at a criminal court. He is tired of silently bearing the pain of a love for which there is no hope. He is tired of constantly rehashing a story - a crime, a conviction, and a punishment - that affected his life and the lives of the people he loved. Tired of his weariness, he decides to get up and move. He decides to write, to tell the story, to lift the heavy seal of silence he used to hide for over twenty years. But we cannot return to the past without it coming back to life again. We cannot escape the cold presence of ghosts once we have raised them. And Esp贸sito will have to battle with the ghosts of love, violence and death.

Irene Men茅ndez Hastings (Soledad Villamil) is, at the beginning of the story, a typical Daddy's girl, whose father's friends got her a good job as a secretary of the court. Daily contact with Esp贸sito and Sandoval as the three try to find the perpetrator of a terrible murder will enable her to gain experience, strength and determination. But this, like all profound lessons, means she will be forced to question some of her most deeply held tenets and will lose her assurance that she will always be safe, her belief that the judicial system is effective and believable, and the certainty that evil is always punished. Twenty-five years later, Irene is a middle-aged woman who runs her own court with a firm hand. Unintentionally, she once again finds herself caught up in the tangle of crime, doubts and painful discoveries like those which swept her away when she was young. Once again, when faced with the truth and, above all, with its consequences, she must decide whether it is best to open her eyes or keep them shut.

Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella) works for the justice department. He is Esp贸sito's best friend; his right-hand man on the job. They can read each other like a book. Sandoval is a man of extremes; he is capable of showing flashes of genius, then plunging into the depths of drunken despair when nothing else seems to matter. He and Esp贸sito have an ironclad bond of friendship. They also complement one another. Esp贸sito is the consummate professional, Sandoval is incredibly inventive. Where Esp贸sito is shy, Sandoval is self-assured. Both are extremely loyal and possess a deep sense of right and wrong, a distinction they both have a great deal of respect for.

Ricardo Morales (Pablo Rago) considers himself a fairly ordinary guy with an ordinary predictable job at a bank. There is, however, something truly extraordinary about his life: he is married to Liliana, the beautiful, young woman who changed his life. They are newlyweds and Morales is thrilled every morning as he watches her making breakfast, chatting about this and that, and thinking of ways to improve their home. But violence and death tear the woman he loves away from him. An inexplicable crime takes place and his life suddenly loses all meaning except what he can build around the crime. Understanding the crime, finding the murderer and doing whatever it takes to make sure he is punished is what he must do.


An old man eating alone. It was that image that haunted me and finally took me back to the novel. Not the crime itself. Or the suspense. Or the genre. The Old Man eating alone. How does someone end up all alone in life? Does that Old Man wonder how he ended up eating alone in a bar with no one by his side? One can deny it, forget about it, cover it up for a time, but the past always comes back. Perhaps during the second act of his life, the Old Man managed to ignore what he had done during the first act, but if he wants to make a successful transition into the third act, he will have to deal with his unfinished business.

I don't see this as a "film noir". The "meat", the main dish, the driving forces behind this movie is an undeclared love that has lasted for years, frustration, and the emptiness felt by the main characters.

Memory fascinates me. The way decisions we made twenty or thirty years ago can affect us today. This could also apply to a nation's memories. As we now recover our memory of the 1970s as a country, we know that the horror began to take shape before the military dictatorship. The story takes place in that Argentina as the very air thickened, creeping up on and enveloping even the key players.

My aim was to tell this story as a combination: of small beings wandering through a sea of people, among huge structures, lost in the crowd - and their eyes. The story of that man walking by a hundred meters away at the train station, with five hundred bodies between us and him. What could we learn about him if suddenly, with no cuts, we could see a close up of his eyes? What secrets would they have to tell?

Secrets about a story like this one perhaps: a story about a murder, true, but above all a story about love. A story about love in its purest form. A love that ended when it was only in the bud, with no time even to fade and die. How could a love like that be lived? What effect would it have on the people involved? What acts of madness could a pair of eyes commit when love is taken away from them?

These are questions the film seeks to ask and which, only in the lives of the characters, perhaps attempts to find answers to.

Juan Jos茅 Campanella

The Secret in Their Eyes Movie Details 馃帴

Directed by

Juan Jos茅 Campanella

Writing Credits

Juan Jos茅 Campanella and Eduardo Sacheri (Screenplay)

Eduardo Sacheri (Novel ''El secreto de sus ojos / The Secret in Their Eyes'')


Ricardo Dar铆n

Soledad Villamil

Guillermo Francella

Pablo Rago

Javier Godino

Carla Quevedo

Mario Alarc贸n

Music by

Federico Jusid

Cinematography by

F茅lix Monti

Categories: Oscars, Oscar Academy Award Winner, EEBAFTAs, BAFTA Award Nominee, EFA, European Film Award Nominee

Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Countries: Argentina, Spain

Remade as: Secret in Their Eyes (2015)

The Secret in Their Eyes Official Trailer

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